Keynote Speaker: Professor Laura Mulvey
'Visual Pleasure Revisited: A Personal Account of a Critical Issue'
LAURA MULVEY has been Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, since 1999. She was previously Director of the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies and Course Director of the joint Birkbeck/British Film Institute Masters degree in Film and Television. She formerly held lectureships at a number of British universities.
A Fellow of the British Academy since 2000, her work has been recognised by the awarding of honorary doctorates from the University of East Anglia, Concordia University, and University College Dublin. She has held U.S. Visiting Professorships/Fellowships at Ohio State University, the University of California, Davis, Cornell University, New York University, and Wellesley College, and at Goethe University, Germany.
In addition to numerous scholarly articles, her books include Fetishism and Curiosity: Cinema and the Mind’s Eye (revised edition, 2012), Visual and Other Pleasures (revised edition, 2009), British Experimental Television (co-ed, 2007), Death Twenty-four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (2006), Citizen Kane (1992), Visual and Other Pleasures (1989), and Douglas Sirk (co-ed, 1972).
After studying history at St. Hilda's, Oxford, Laura came to prominence in the early 1970s as a film theorist, writing for periodicals such as Spare Rib and Seven Days. Much of her early critical work investigated questions of spectatorial identification and its relationship to the male gaze, especially the hugely influential 1975 essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, which went on to become one of the most frequently cited essays in the history of film theory.
In the 70s and 80s Mulvey co-wrote and co-directed with her husband Peter Wollen a series of experimental films dealing with feminist theory, semiotics, and leftist politics - Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons (1974), Riddles of the Sphinx (1977), Crystal Gazing (1982), The Bad Sisters (1982) and the short films Amy! (1982) and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1982). Mulvey returned to film-making with Disgraced Monuments (co-directed with Mark Lewis, 1994), an examination of the fate of revolutionary monuments in the Soviet Union after the fall of Communism.